Toyota Prius, 2012: Some old, some new for hybrid leader

James Raia

The 2012 Toyota Prius will retain many of the same features offered in the hybrid's third generation that debuted in 2010. But new year models of the United States' best-selling hybrid will also offer exterior and interior upgrades.

In other words, Toyota knows it has a good thing, but it's tweaking its existing offering while other manufacturers continue their quest to gain increased shares of the still-small hybrid market.

For 2012:

The Prius will feature updated headlamps and tail lamps, plus a new front fascia and bumper;

The Prius Two will feature 15-inch wheel covers for 2012 and standard LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL);

The Prius Three will feature a standard three-door Smart Key entry system;

The Prius Four will feature standard auto on/off headlamps as well as new SofTex-trimmed seats and an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat.

Toyota Prius, 2012: Some old, some new for hybrid leader 1

Additional improvements for the 2012 Toyoyta Prius line (Two, Three, Four and Five) models, include:

The Prius Two: a new Display Audio touch-screen system with a 6.1-inch screen. The AM/FM CD player unit offers MP3/WMA playback capability with six speakers, a USB port for iPod connectivity, auxiliary input jack, Bluetooth hands-free phone capability and audio streaming. The display also provides vehicle information and allows the driver to customize vehicle settings.

The Prius Three: navigation and Entune, plus an integrated backup camera display, SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability, HD Radio™ with iTunes Tagging, advanced voice recognition and text-to-speech with programmed and customizable text responses.

The Toyota Entune system is a collection of mobile applications and data services, with three years of complimentary access. Once a smart phone is connected to the vehicle using Bluetooth wireless technology or a USB cable, Entune’s features are operated using the vehicle’s controls or, for some services, by voice recognition. Entune offers mobile apps for Bing, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable and Pandora. Entune data services include a fuel price guide, sports scores, stocks, traffic and weather.

The Prius Four: the above system plus eight JBL GreenEdge speakers and an eight-channel JBL amplifier. GreenEdge technology significantly reduces electric draw on the vehicle, which can help enhance fuel economy. When the Deluxe Solar Roof Package is ordered for the Prius Four, that system is further upgraded with a Head-up Display and Premium HDD Navigation System, which uses an exclusive seven-inch touch-screen with split-screen capability.

The top-of-line Prius Five model’s Advanced Technology Package for 2012 includes the Premium HDD Navigation System, plus the Head-up Display, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System and Lane Keep Assist. The Pre-Collision System retracts the front seatbelts and applies the brakes in certain conditions when it determines that a crash is unavoidable. Lane Keep Assist can help the driver stay within the lane.

The 2012 Toyota Prius offers four driving modes — Normal, Power, Eco and EV. The EV Mode allows driving on battery power alone at low speeds for about a mile, if conditions permit. Power Mode increases sensitivity to throttle input for a sportier feel; Eco Mode helps drivers achieve the best mileage. A multi-information display panel that monitors fuel and energy consumption is standard. It provides feedback on the Prius’ efficiency using three different displays to help the driver adopt economical driving habits.

The 2012 Prius is certified as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) and an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) in California, as well as those states applying California emission standards.

The AT-PZEV certification requires the SULEV exhaust standard linked with the ability to meet a zero-fuel-evaporative standard, a 150,000-mile durability demonstration, extended emissions system warranty, and technology deemed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to advance future fuel cell vehicles.  In the rest of the country, Prius is certified as Tier 2, Bin 3.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation.

The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. In applicable states hybrid-related component coverage is 15 years/150,000 miles with the exception of the hybrid battery, which is warranted for 10 years/150,000 miles.

The Prius will also come standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

To read more about the 2012 Toyota Prius v, visit: The Weekly Driver/Prius v

To read more about the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, visit: The Weekly Driver/Prius Plug-In

To receive The Weeky Driver Newsletter via email, visit: Free Newsletter

Article Last Updated: September 21, 2011.

Leave a Reply

Share to...